Choosing the Right Career Path

Choosing the right career can be difficult for many 17 or 18 year olds as they also contemplate what college to attend and what major to study.  Some may already know what they want to do; others will struggle with the plethora of choices.

When making these difficult choices, it would be wise for the student to consider his or her passions, hobbies, values, life expectations, the possible sacrifices, and the subjects preferred in school.  Career decisions can be derived from what the student likes to do as a hobby or in his/her free time. The best career would be developed from either the student’s passion or something which magnifies his/her strengths.  It is so important for the student to pursue a career that is connected to his or her heart.

Life expectations and personal sacrifices are two areas which also must be contemplated.  Do I want a conventional life?  Do I want an adventurous life?  Do I like to travel or am I more of a home body?  These are just some examples of the questions which students must ask themselves as they decide on a career path.

Analyzing the academic courses that match interests is an excellent way to determine which careers students may be interested in pursuing.  A career assessment may help the student reach a decision.

Once the student has some ideas on possible careers, it would be prudent to do some research on each career, take career-related courses, engage in career-related activities; including internships (temporary work experiences related to field of study or career interest) or career shadowing experiences (these may vary in length, involve shadowing professionals, and may include informational interviews, tours of facilities, and participation in actual “on the job” projects).  These types of experiences will allow the student to see what a particular career is like on any given day.

Seek advice from a school or a private career/college counselor about various opportunities to learn about potential careers, network with friends and relatives for available internships or career shadowing, contact a prospective company of alumni for available internship positions, do volunteer work, work a part-time job in the field, and join career-affiliated associations.  It is very important for students to make connections with people in their intended career fields. It is also important for the student to stay current with any changes and new research in the field, research companies, and maintain an updated resume. In order to prepare for a college major and a future career, the student should always select challenging classes. Students should participate in extracurricular activities that will help them to increase their knowledge and prepare them for a career.

NEPA Career and College Counseling Associates: Excellence in Career and College Preparation is available to help students find their ideal career and college major. Career shadowing experiences for interested students can be arranged.  Contact Jennifer Severini-Kresock at (570) 702-5700 or for more information on this article and our career and college preparation services.   Like us on Facebook at NEPA Career and College Counseling and follow us on Twitter @NEPACareerandco.

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